Friday, July 19, 2019

I think I'm Allergic to Cats and Bad Remakes

So this week we had a couple of movie trailers drop.  One I'm excited about.  One, eh.  Not so much! 

Tom Cruise has barely aged since the original Top Gun aired in 1986.  Being a Scientologist he probably doesn't drink or smoke (I think that may be a thing with them; JLo is? was? a Scientologist at one point and doesn't drink or smoke).  Obviously he takes care of himself and works out regularly for his physically demanding roles.  If he's had some work done, it's been subtle.

I think Jennifer Hudson is one helluva singer.  Not that crazy about her acting skills (i.e., Sex and The City 2 she was horrible) and I think she looks terrible as a cat.  There.  I said it. She doesn't look good as a feline.  Taylor Swift, on the other hand, is exactly what I think she'd look like as a cat.  Unfortunately, James Corden looks like the Cat in the Hat's evil twin.

The new Lion King officially opens today.  What is with all of these live-action remakes?  We recently had the Jungle Book, Aladdin (haven't seen it yet), Dumbo (will NEVER see it.  I think Dumbo was one of the scariest movies ever when I was a kid.  I hated seeing Dumbo cry for his mama and being scared at the circus with the crazy fireman clowns and the building on fire).  Soon we'll have an  updated The Little Mermaid.  And now the Lion King is back, too. Round and round we go. Cue Savannah sunrise. Cue "Naaaants ingonyama bagithi baba!"

This new Lion King has some serious star power:  Jon Favreau, James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa.  Donald Glover as the grown-up lion prince Simba, Beyonce as the older lioness Nala and Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Scar.  Zazu is voiced by John Oliver.   Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen take over for Nathan Lane's meerkat and Ernie Sabella's warthog.  Despite the celebrity voices, I'm not sure if I'll be seeing this update. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Winners & Losers

Much like Colton's fence jumping teasers all last season, last night we finally had the big windmill reveal!  As we learned in a preview two weeks ago, Hannah was going to have sex in a windmill on tonight’s episode. In fact, we learned—thanks to Hannah—that Hannah was going to have sex twice in a windmill. And who woulda thunk it was with Pete the Pilot???  

But for everybody outside the windmill, the climax of Monday night’s episode came an hour and a half later, when Hannah finally bid farewell to the dreaded Luke P. After two endless months of Hannah entertaining Luke’s exhausting string of aggressive feuds and possessive demands, she experienced a moment of clarity and realized three guys on the show made her extremely happy—and that a fourth stressed her out at every possible juncture.
Let’s talk Fantasy Suite dates first so I don't get a head of myself.  “It’s been a long time since I’ve been physical at all with a man,” says Hannah. “But Fantasy Suite week is not about sex.” It’s about getting “real, raw” time away from the cameras, she explains.  Sure.  But it’s also about sex.  And Hannah Bannanas is A-OK with that. Her first date is with Peter and the Bachelorette says “if all goes well” the two of them will [breaks into song] “get down pa-ta-bow-oooooh in the Fantasy Suite.”  And what better foreplay than a romantic sailing trip through the crystal-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea? 

There’s a lot of making out on this date (and a lot of ass grabbing) but Peter’s still a little skittish about telling Hannah that he capital-L Loves her. “Do you know how much I like you?” he murmurs, as they recline on the boat deck. “You have no idea.” That’s right, she doesn’t — because you haven’t told her, dummy! Pilot Pete knows he has to drop the L-bomb at dinner as “terrifying” as it may be. He works his way up to it, telling Hannah that he was thrilled about how well their hometown date went. “I remember leaving that date feeling so good about where we’re at and where we can go,” he says. “I, um…”

“So when we were flying…” Oh, come ON, Peter. She knows you love flying. EVERYONE knows you love flying. Just say “I love you.” You can do it: I. Love. You. It won’t kill you. Yes, we know not all your previous relationships were perfect. Yes, we know that you have never met anyone like Hannah before. Yes, we know you can be your “true self” with her. Just spit it out! Finally, Peter manages to put all of these many thoughts together: “It made me realize how in love with you I am.” Thank you, reality TV Jesus! Now get these randy kids to the Fantasy Suite, stat! Actually, should I say the Fantasy Windmill? 

This windmill is straight out of the old timey Zelda game I played on Nintendo 64.  And it comes equipped with its own supply of condoms which Hannah finds inside a wooden chest.  Yes, this windmill happens to have sleeping accommodations, but it’s not a hotel room. The two spent the night in a room that was barely large enough to fit a single bed. There was nothing else there—just walls, a bed, and a chest with a bunch of items in it.  I expected 50 rupees and a health pack to pop out when they opened the chest; instead it had condoms in it. “That was not me this time!” insists Peter, blushing and trying to block the camera with his hand which is really cute. 

 "Last night was the best night of my life,” says Peter. “We came together, like, so much last night and just bonded.” TMI Pete.  TMI.  It’s a good thing the sex was good, because there really wasn’t anything else to do in that windmill.  When Hannah says she had sex in a windmill, she really means she had sex in a windmill.

Pilot Pete is feeling “mic drop” confident, but Hannah still has three more dudes to test drive. Next we’re off to Elounda, Crete, where Tyler and his tight pants are waiting to greet Hannah with open arms (to be fair, as snug as Tyler’s jeans are, they’re practically baggy compared to his hometown slacks).  Today’s date consists of a couples massage, which quickly turns into a dry-humping session as Tyler slips off his table and starts manhandling Hannah as she lies face-down.
The two massage therapists quickly scurry out of the room, which is good because Hannah and Tyler were about to make their work environment very hostile (and horny). “I’m 1,000 percent sure that physical intimacy with Tyler is not an issue,” Hannah informs us. “I want to be physical with him.” Still, the Bachelorette feels “nervous and scared” that her connection with Tyler is more physical than emotional.

Hannah’s mission at dinner is to determine whether Tyler can truly be her “forever” person. And when they sit down, she gets right to the point. “There is a concern for me about our physical relationship,” she tells him. “It is a huge part of our relationship… But, like, it has to be more.” To that end, continues Hannah, “I don’t want to go into the Fantasy Suite and have sex because I don’t feel like that’s what our relationship needs.” Bless his heart, Tyler tries his very hardest not to look as disappointed as he is by this news.

“I just want to be with you,” he says. “You have to love and respect and honor each other’s boundaries, you know? I would never press you or pressure you at all.” Congrats, Tyler — everything you just said is perfect! And it’s clear you actually mean it! As for his declaration of love? It’s a little choppy — “I can stand here today, like, and tell you, like, I do love you, like” — but we’ll allow it.
Hannah, too, is pleased with everything Tyler’s had to say. “I think he handled what I said really well tonight,” she reports. “It didn’t faze him… I feel really good about going into a Fantasy Suite with him and just being respected.”  A man who respects Hannah’s ability to decide what she does and does not want to do in the Fantasy Suite — imagine that!
After a night of celebrating each other’s boundaries, Hannah and Tyler emerge from the Fantasy Yacht with coffee and smiles. “I had a really great night with Tyler,” says Hannah. “We would make out and he would stop and just hold me… He was the most respectful man that’s ever been with me. Ever.”

Honestly, I’m not sure Hannah needed to do this. It’s odd to me that she felt their relationship wasn’t strong in a nonphysical way, because Tyler also seems to be connecting with her as a person. Maybe that’s just Tyler’s nature—he seems genuinely kind and caring in all regards. But Tyler takes it in stride. He lets her know he trusts her judgment on all such matters—a stark contrast to Luke and Jed, who can’t stop questioning her judgment. And the next morning, Hannah breaks down in tears, claiming that Tyler is “the most respectful man she’s ever been with.” (They seemed like “holy crap this guy is amazing” tears, not “I’m so bummed I gotta break up with this guy” tears to me.)
At this point, Hannah has to pick Tyler. I’m not sure the viewing public will forgive her for having the chance to have sex with Tyler and passing it up so she could develop their relationship further, only to decide she wasn’t interested in developing their relationship further. Honestly, I’m not sure Hannah could forgive herself, considering the way she (and the rest of the viewing public) talks about him. Maybe she should’ve done it with Tyler, because now I think she has to pick him to avoid spending the rest of her life regretting that missed sexual opportunity. 

Wow, it’s gonna be hard to follow that, Jed. Especially when you’re already so salty about Luke getting a rose last week. “It was just hurtful to stand there next to Luke,” he says. “But I don’t want to let someone else affect our relationship.”  Can we just take a minute to remind everyone how much I dislike Big Head Jed?

The date Hannah has planned involves crashing a random Greek family’s gathering. There’s traditional Greek dancing, delicious-looking food, and something called “life water,” which the patriarch of the family calls “typical Greek Viagra.” When the woman across the table tries to make polite small talk about whether she and Jed might marry, Hannah gives a little too much information. “I’m not ready to make a decision just yet,” she says. “This week is really important to me — I get more time with the four men that I’m dating.” 

Naturally, the nice Greek lady has another question . . . "So how are you going to decide?"  Of course, Jed is sitting right there. So yeah, Hannah — how are you going to decide? The Bachelorette mumbles something about falling in love in “different ways” and says she needs “clarity” before making her final pick. Rather than just stewing in silence, Jed pipes up to say how hard it is to watch Hannah fall in love with other people. The Greek lady nods politely, no doubt wishing she could just enjoy her spanakopita and salad in peace.
This whole exchange rankles Jed so much he asks Hannah to step away from the party so they can talk in private.  Though he probably wants to scream “WHY THE F— IS LUKE STILL HERE?” Jed manages to keep it together. “I just don’t fully understand how you can be as amazing as you are and even consider someone like him,” he says.
“Like, how honest do you want me to be?” Hannah asks. “At the beginning, I had a really strong connection with him that I really couldn’t describe,” she says. “I met his family, I do think he’s here for me. And there is a connection, but I’m still trying to figure it out.” All she really has to go on, adds Hannah, is “a feeling.” Jed is clearly not satisfied with this answer, but he lets the matter drop… until dinner, at least.
In fact, that night it’s the Bachelorette who brings Luke up first. “I actually do appreciate the conversation that you pulled me aside for,” she says. “I know how you feel about me, and I see it as coming from a good place.”  With that said, Hannah is hoping that the “talking about Luke” portion of the date will be over. “We good?” she asks Jed with a smile.
Nope. Jed has one last thing he’d like to get off his chest — and it’s a doozy. “It kind of says a lot about your decisions when you can look at me and tell me you’re falling in love with me, and then also keep around somebody who’s been toxic to this process for you and everyone else,” says Jed. “It makes me feel worried that you have a hard time letting go of things that aren’t good for you in your life.”  Oh snap!!! 
Can we just all take a moment to appreciate the irony of this situation? Jed, who allegedly left a serious girlfriend back home when he went on The Bachelorette to promote his music career, is now saying he’s worried about Hannah’s judgment.

Of course, the whole conversation makes Hannah feel awful. “Thanks, man,” she says with a wry laugh. “I don’t want you to go any further. I think I’m good now.” But there is anger behind her laughter, too. Why can’t Jed just trust her to make her own decisions? Who is he to tell her which guys are and aren’t acceptable final-four options? “I’m really frustrated,” she says. “That makes me mad.” With that, she gets up from the table, leaving the poor camera operator to chase her through the tavern. Of course, Jed follows her, too.
“Arrrgh! I do not want to do this anymore,” fumes Hannah, turning her back to Jed. He refuses to give her some space though and instead asks for a hug. Because when a woman walks away from you and turns her back to you, it means “please get in my personal space,” right ladies??  Once they’re back at the table, the Bachelorette makes this reasonable request: “I just want somebody at the end of the day that can trust decisions I’m making.” Sensing he’s pushed Hannah enough for one night, Jed backtracks, saying he trusts her decisions and knows she’ll make the right decision for her.
“My soul’s invested in this,” Hannah says, right before Jed shuts the door to the Fantasy Suite (which is definitely a house vs. a suite) and announces, “Comin’ to mama!” And that's when I threw up in my mouth a little. 
The morning-after sequence is shot in extreme closeup, and Jed and Hannah cuddle and smooch in their luxurious hotel bed. “I’m more sure than I’ve ever been about you,” drawls Jed. “I’m more sure about you, Mr. Jed Wyatt,” replies Hannah, as the camera appears to hover inches from their heads.
“We didn’t sleep a wink,” Jed informs us. “It felt like a dream.”  Ew.  I just had a whole body dry heave. 

On to the main event! 

I think we can all agree that the daytime portion of Hannah's date with Luke does not matter. Suffice it to say that Hannah and Luke take a helicopter to the island of Santorini; they both talk a lot about their “connection;” the scenery is incredible. Hannah, for one, is ready to get down (pa-ta-bow-ooooh!) with Luke, who she says is the best kisser of the bunch. “I don’t know what his church is teaching him, but that boy can kiss!”
Once the sun sets, though, it doesn’t take long for things to go south. Luke launches into a speech about the importance of marriage and what a big commitment it is and what he wants for himself and his future wife (“I want it the way I want it,” he says).  At no point does this ass hat ask Hannah what she wants out of a relationship.  In a man.  In a marriage.  In the future.  It's all about what Luke and what Luke wants.   Luke praises Hannah for being a “spiritual leader” in her household and how he’s “so ready” to “make history” in his family.  What the heck does that mean exactly??  “I want to make sure that from now on, things are known how they’re supposed to be.”  Hannah, too, seems a little confused by Luke’s vaguely grandiose ideas.

Let’s listen in as Luke schools Hannah about morality and marital hygiene. Sex is “incredible” and “beautiful,” but “only when it’s in the guidelines of marriage.” As stated in the book of Hebrews, Luke continues, the marriage bed “should be kept pure.” Even though he and Hannah are not virgins, Luke is “confident” that they’re on the same page about “morals.” Now he just wants verbal confirmation from Hannah that she has not or will not defile her future marriage bed by getting down (pa-ta-bow-oooh!) with Jed, Tyler, or Peter. “I just want to hear it from your mouth,” he says. “I just want to make sure you’re not going to be sexually intimate with the other relationships here.”
Though she says, “Okay,” it’s pretty clear Hannah cannot freaking believe what she is hearing. And Luke, that glorious jackass, just keeps talking to fill the silence. “If you told me you’re having sex, or you had sex with one or more of these guys,” he continues, “I’d be wanting to go home, 100 percent.”
At this point, Hannah would be perfectly justified in throwing a glass of Ouzo in Luke’s face and walking away, but she struggles to keep her cool. “Some of the things you that you said, like, I don’t agree with at all,” she tells him. Then her voice gets stronger. “I’m, like, kinda mad, because the way that you just said that — it’s like, why do you have the right to do that? Because you’re not my husband.”
Now she’s on a roll. Luke tries to cut her off and she just stops him with a firm, “No.”  “I get when you care for somebody that you don’t want to think about somebody being intimate with another person,” she continues, “but guess what? Sex might be a sin out of marriage, pride is a sin too. And I feel like this is a pride thing.”
Preach, Hannah! Preach!  Throw that Bible knowledge right back in his smarmy, cartoon-character-looking face! Luke tries to regain his footing, suddenly agreeing that okay, maybe he didn’t have the right to ask her whether she slept with the other guys. “I just want to know what’s going on,” he says. Unfortunately for him, he also tries to interrupt Hannah again, and the Bachelorette does NOT love it.
“I’m a grown woman and can make my own decisions,” declares Hannah.  I honestly cannot believe what comes out of Luke’s mouth next. It is truly a next-level accomplishment in misogyny and abject cluelessness. He says, and I quote, “I can understand a slip-up. But, like, with all of them? If you were like, ‘You know what? I just want to have sex with everyone and see what it’s like,’ then yeah, I would be like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna talk to you, but I’m outta here.’”
That is like the Ripley’s Believe It or Not of horrifying stupidity. Forget about the fact that this dating franchise has been on for 17 goddamn years — and Luke just described what happens every season during Fantasy Suites on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. What’s truly appalling about this is Luke’s belief that in 2019, he is entitled to pass judgment on any adult woman — even a religious woman — who chooses to have sex.
“The words that you’re saying are just, like, really not okay,” Hannah informs him. We watch as it slowly dawns on her: Yes, everybody else was telling the truth about Luke. And she is pissed. This is the guy, after all, who sparked a “love at first sight” flutter in her heart when he got out of the limo. This is the guy she defended again and again, despite all the bulls–t. “Honestly, you have already
broken my heart through this, like truly — and I’ve broken my own heart because I’ve allowed everything,” says Hannah. “And to ignore all the red flags for how I feel… to have you say this about me?”

All season long, literally from the first date of the season, Luke repeatedly and incessantly told Hannah that he loved her, he was crazy about her, it was meant to be, he would fight for her through anything, this was destiny, etc. He was like a toy with a pull string that spewed out generic affirmations of love. But when it came down to it, he told Hannah that he would ditch her, no questions asked, if she didn’t follow his predetermined guidelines. Bruh, that ain’t love. And when she called his bluff, he retreated immediately. Soon he was explaining how he would still accept her in spite of everything; soon he was begging her for a chance to talk—while still characterizing her behavior as a mistake.

Luke has a tendency to paint himself into corners by saying whatever he thought people in the room wanted to hear, often contradicting himself and pissing people off. That's actually being too generous.  The truth is Luke likes to puff his chest out, but the only fight he actually cares about winning is Not Being Wrong. Example: He body slammed Other Luke, only to argue it was justifiable due to the rules of rugby (it wasn’t) and attempt to defuse the situation by promising to put in a good word for Other Luke (he bad-mouthed him instead). Example: He spent the whole run of the show trash-talking other contestants to Hannah, and when called out on it, he argued that he was just responding to Hannah’s specific questions about how things were going. Example: He told Hannah he’d leave her in a heartbeat if she defied the word of the Lord, only to try to prove he wasn’t actually threatening to leave her.  A few weeks ago, Luke’s fellow castmates began to respond to a season’s worth of confrontations by ragging on his height. But of course, one’s worth as a person has nothing to do with their height. Luke got made fun of for being 5-foot-8, but the truth is, he’s so much smaller than that.
Aw HELL no. Hannah goes on to tell Luke that she, in fact, is a “woman of faith,” and his premarital sex deal-breaker is hypocritical and meaningless. “I could have exed you off so many times from being my husband for things that I want out of a relationship,” she says. “There’s so many things that I don’t want out of a husband that you’ve shown.”

Exactly. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. “You have not shown respect for any of the guys here, and I’m finally seeing that,” Hannah says. “I have prayed so much for clarity, and I feel like I’ve finally gotten clarity on you. And I do not want you to be my husband.”  Did the lyrics and dance moves to N'SYNC's "Bye Bye Bye" go through anyone else's mind at this point?? 
Like the true pyschopath he is, Luke refuses to believe that this is the end for him (we also see a glimpse of this in the previews for the season finale).  Even after Hannah stands up from the table and literally says, “It’s over, come on,” he remains seated and keeps asking for a chance to speak. The dude even has the audacity to claim that Hannah owes it to him to hear him out. “I don’t owe you anything at this point!” she snaps. “Please, get up!”  I was beginning to wonder if the producers were going to call in for some back-up at this point but Hannah had the situation under control. Luke makes one last desperate plea as they stand beside the Reject SUV, insisting that he’s not “judging or condemning” her and that he’s certain they have a future together. So what if Hannah literally just said she doesn’t want him to be her husband? She’s a woman, so she couldn’t possibly know what she really wants! “There’s something in me that is refusing me to get into that vehicle right now,” Luke says. Hannah’s all, Challenge accepted. “I have had sex,” she replies. “And Jesus still loves me.”  Oh, and Hannah gave him the big finger after his offer to “pray over” Hannah.  “I answer to the Lord,” says Hannah. “I don’t answer to Luke.”

In my humble opion, Peter is the undisputed winner of this episode. He’s the second party in the “I fucked in a windmill” quote, which will forever define this season of The Bachelorette. And while most Bachelorette sex is just hinted at, Hannah elaborates at length about the quality, quantity, and passion of her sex with Peter. She compares Peter to Zeus and herself to Aphrodite.  Greek mythology major she is not.  Difficulty with mythology-related analogies aside, the point is clear: This was some Olympian boning. She described it as “loving” and “passionate." 

Peter went on a romantic sailboat ride and spent the night in a windmill—both definitely things that had to be reserved ahead of time. Jed crashed a conveniently timed Greek family celebration and spent the night with Hannah in a deluxe hotel suite—again, they had to make arrangements with whatever family that was, and the hotel suite was probably #sponcon. Luke and Hannah flew via helicopter to the island of Santorini—definitely a planned excursion.  Tyler and Hannah, though? They got a massage together and spent the night on a docked yacht. Of all the dates, theirs was the one that had nothing to do with Greece at any point, and of all the dates, theirs was by far the easiest to coordinate. For the spa date, they just had to, like, call up a hotel spa and see if there were any available appointments. And they didn’t need to find a yacht captain or anything—they just needed a docked boat. It says a lot about the show’s confidence in Tyler’s power to generate thirst that they saddled him with the impromptu date. “Whatever gets his shirt off!” they probably said to themselves—and they were right.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

I just can't anymore

I realize I don't have a lot of viewing experience to help guide me through Bachelor Nation (I've only watched Colton's season of The Bachelor prior to Hannah Banana's season).  I'm still a newbie.  But Holy Mother of God.  I just can't with this girl anymore.  She's driving me insane. 

Last night's episode was the "hometown visits."  Our girl visited each of the final four's family and went on dates.  I'm still not over JPJ going home so my apologies if I sound bitter. 

Pete the Pilot

Pete the Pilot is adorable.  Absolutely adorable.  But I don't see much chemistry between these two.  He's sweet and nice and definitely the guy you want to bring home to your family.  And he's got a fun family, too.  Of all the hometown visits last night, Pete's family was my favorite. 

Pete (Peter?) starts off the visit with a drive in his gorgeous car.  I'm not a car person by any means but I can totally appreciate beautiful craftmanship.  While looking for some gum or Altoids in his car's center console, Hannah Bananas finds a condom.  It's the perfect analogy of their relationship: Sweet and funny with a touch of sexy (but not a whole lot).

Pete the Pilot then takes her flying and he works in a lot of flying puns (i.e., comments about soaring in love, etc.).  They kiss in mid-air which freaked me out.  It was the equivalent of texting and driving and I wanted to yell at him to keep both hands on the wheel! 

The couple then heads to his parents' house where they meet dad Peter, Barbara the mom and Pete the Pilot's younger brother whose name I did not catch.  The family is quirky and full of tradition, shouting a German prayer before they eat Cuban food. But they're also emotional.  Peter chokes up talking about his grandparents.  Which got me.  I loved loved loved my grandparents (especially my grandmother) and miss them every day. 
Hannah reassures Barbara, who knows Peter risks heartbreak, about her intentions: "I can see that it could be Peter and I at the end of this. I wouldn’t allow him to invest his heart into me if I didn't think that the end could be him and I."  I'm not even going to try to correct the grammar in Hannah speak.  It's not worth it. 

It's time for Tyler

Hannah then joins Tyler in his hometown of Jupiter, Florida.  The two go out on a boat where they seem to always have a great time together.  Tyler is clearly at home on the water (remember their lobster boat date?).  This time they are on a boat with minimal clothing versus heavy fisherman sweaters.  Hannah acknowledges there's a physical chemistry in their relationship, but wonders if he's ready for marriage. 

We're reminded of health issues Tyler's dad Jeff has faced (he nearly died two months before taping began) and learn he had a paralyzed vocal cord. Tyler and Jeff embrace in a tearjerker moment.
Jeff says he hasn't seen Tyler so happy in a long time, and he reassures Hannah that marriage is definitely something on Tyler's mind.

"You can't plan to fall in love," he tells her. "It just hits you right between the eyes. I'm ecstatic for him, if that's the way it all turns out." 

Will the real Luke please stand up?

Hannah meets Luke in Gainesville, Georgia and it was kind of jarring to be on his home turf.  The villagers weren't actively mad at him every waking second and we got to see a different side of Luke. 

Luke takes Hannah to "Sunday school," a prayer group he goes to before church every week. He recaps his drinking, partying and sex-chasing past and a heavenly epiphany he once had in the shower. I think the Southern, church-going, God-fearing part of Hannah feels affirmed by the goodness she's seen in him. 

Luke's family is taken aback when Hannah and Luke explain his drama on the series. We get a sense of the origins of Luke's narcissism when he chats with his dad.  "If she’s worth it to you, that means she’s worth you," Mike tells him. Luke can't see this not working out for him. And there he is!  The cocky Luke we've come to know and love (hate?).

Family time has done Luke some good -- he apologizes to Hannah and says he knows she may have concerns about getting where they need to be. He insists he's going to continue showing her who he is and that, without a doubt, he loves her and is looking at his future wife.  In an aside, she says she's falling in love with him (though, she confides, she hasn't fallen). A leopard doesn't change his spots.  Run Hannah!  Run!  

Jed is just that into you — but his family isn't

Our last hometown is in Tennessee with Jed.  Oh boy.  I positively cringed through this hometown visit.  I've never been a Jed fan (especially after last week when he told the older couple that he was "English."  Seriously dude?).  And this episode didn't do him any favors in my opinion.  Although I loved his family and what straight shooters they were.  My kind of people. 

During their time in Tennessee, Hannah and Jed visit a recording studio and write a song together. It's
sugary sweet and horribly cliched.  Made my teeth hurt.  "I love you," he tells her in the studio. "I can feel it."  I really think Big Head Jed was referring to himself though. 

When it's time to meet his family (and cute dog), however, they are just not feeling it.  His father Jerry questions whether Hannah and Jed have discussed his musical ambitions.  His mother Gina doesn't seem to trust Hannah and flat out asks Hannah if she's told all the other contestants that she's falling in love with them.  His sister says she's not sure that the match is a good thing. Ouch.  The sister actually reminded me of the old American Idol days when Randy Jackson used to say, "I'm just not feeling it dog."  I was hoping Mama Gina would break out a "bless her heart" or two.  You know she wanted to. 

Hannah says in an aside that she didn't get the validation she expected. The date is all too reminiscent of when Colton didn't get the approval he wanted from Cassie's father during last spring's "Bachelor" hometown episode.

So!  Who does Hannah send home? 

Turns out, no one.  Seriously.  She doesn't send anyone home.  And it's so stupid and drawn out and over dramatic.

When the group returns to Los Angeles for the rose ceremony Hannah gives roses to Peter and Tyler. Yay!!!  But before she can give the final rose . . . she seems to struggle with some inner turmoil and leaves the room.  With the damn final rose! 

Host Chris Harrison asks if she's OK, she replies she's not and can't make a decision. She just knows in her heart of hearts she'll be closing a door on a relationship that's not done. The rational choice would be to dump Jed.  The more obvious choice would be to send back home Luke to Georgia. 

Tyler tells Jed, "It'll be complete baloney if you don't get a rose," a little inside joke to last week's nonsense when Luke dropped bologna on Garrett's lap.  Hannah eventually returns.  Without a rose. She says he can't give out a final rose. What does that mean?!  Cue the dramatic music! 

Our "Bachelorette" pulls an Oprah: Everyone gets a humpback whale.  I mean rose!  I meant rose! 
Jed is a little put out by this sudden change of plans and says it doesn't even feel like he got a rose and doesn't want to be lumped in the same category as Luke.   I understand where he's coming from.  But given his family's ambivalence (and let's not even talk about the rumors circulating of his very recent girlfriend) perhaps he should just cool and it be happy to still be around.

 And yeah.  I'm still salty about JPJ. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What I'm Watching Wednesday

Even though my beloved Dallas Stars haven't been on the ice in weeks, I guess I'll watch some of game 7 tonight.  Maybe I'll take a long bubble bath instead.  IDK.  I'd like to see St. Louis win.  Because.  Ew.  Boston.  And O'Reilly's got a good beard.

Time to talk about The Bachelorette!  Last week’s episode ended with a confrontation between the Lukes (Luke P and the other Luke whose last initial I've already forgotten).  Last night's episode opened with the group at a cocktail party still in Rhode Island.  Luke P is surrounded by his haters and he either doesn't realize how much the guys dislike him or he really doesn't give a rat's ass.  He has clearly adopted the classic "I'm not here to make friends" attitude.  Other Luke was outfoxed by his dim-witted namesis.  He quickly realized there could only be one Luke and decided to go home and work on his tequila company.  He pulled Hannah aside before she could start handing out boutonniere's, used the manners his mama taught him, said thank you for having me and just walked away.  Awkward.  And then that damn Chris Harrison sneaked into the room and snagged one of the roses off the table.  Wait.  What????  Why not just go with the flow and give that rose to another guy? 

Ultimately, Hannah eliminated a couple of guys I had never seen before (seriously, I think they were just seat fillers like they have at awards shows) and JPJ.  John Paul Jones, the show’s most irreverent, confusing contestant, meme-generator and best floppy hair award winner.  This is the man who taught himself how to ride a unicycle in a half-hour, the man who happily ate chicken nuggets as drama unfolded around him and screamed like a girl when he was hooked up to the labor simulator.  Why wasn't there a #SaveJPJ movement last night?  The producers had already booked flights and hotel rooms in Scotland and could’ve brought him along.  There was no #Justice4JPJ and KJ was devastated.  She said she's going to slide into JPJ's DM's and say something witty like, "meet your future wife."  Ha!  Ha!  Ha! 

But here’s the part that makes me the most mad:  Other Luke, you could have had a free trip to Scotland! Obviously, Other Luke thought he was going to get eliminated and wanted to save himself the humiliation. But for some reason known only to Other Luke himself, he couldn't just let it ride and ended up losing out on an all expenses paid trip to Scotland!  A week of free food and free drinks totally wasted.  A free trip to Scotland! They have castles and scotch and great accents and scotch and beautiful scenery and scotch!

Hannah’s first date of the week was with Mike. Nothing particularly special happened—they just walked around Scotland, exploring little stores and tasting scotch and visiting a pub. Have I mentioned Mike has an amazing smile? 

One of their first stops was at a bookstore where Hannah picked up two distinct items that she was not quite sure how to interact with. It was like Alien Hannah was dropped onto Earth in the middle of Inverness Scotland and she wandered aimlessly into a book store. 

First, she picked up a book and smelled it. This kind of makes sense—old books can have deep, rich, musty smells. Maybe she’s into that. I mean, I totally am.  But usually you inspect books by looking at them.  You know, judging their covers.  And she made a stupid comment about the smell of fresh books.  Girl, those were not fresh books. 

Next, she picked up an egg and held it to her ear. Like a seashell.  Did anyone else think it was weird that a bookstore had a bunch of eggs in a basket?  Anyone?  I don't know what the hell she was thinking.  Maybe she was nervous on her date with Mike?  I go back and forth with this girl.  Some times I think she's adorable and spunky and other times I think she's a flaming idiot.  Last week she couldn't complete a coherent thought regarding the Boston Tea Party, but this week she's an expert on Mary Queen of Scots and the tumultuous relationship between England and Scotland?  I don't think so. 

This week’s group date tried to go for a Scottish vibe by staging a cheesy edition of the Highland Games which showed off their athletic prowess (think "Hot Men in Kilts" kind of calendar shoot). The contestants took part in axe throwing, a yoke race where the men carried two full buckets of milk and wrestling.  The inaccuracies of these "Games" killed me.  The Highland Games are a real thing and axe throwing nor milk racing are legitimate events. The big event at the Highland Games is the caber toss, where you throw a big log. There are also a lot of other events that involve tossing heavy stuff and a tug-of-war (which could’ve made sense as a Bachelorette activity). But axe tossing? That’s the new preferred unsafe activity of drunk hipsters across the nation. They could’ve done that in America (like I did a couple of weeks ago @ Corky's!).  Meanwhile, last week’s episode in Rhode Island featured rugby (which BTW, is not the official sport of Rhode Island).  The guys should’ve gone axe-throwing in Rhode Island and played rugby in Scotland. Or at the very least, they could’ve tried throwing a big-ass log while wearing their kilts.  And what was with the guy who spilled milk all over himself? 

Hannah gives the only Luke left a one-on-one date. Hannah wants him to be "the one" so badly (it's not her heart talking, it's her libido) but he's such an ass.  Hannah has said that her relationship with Luke is stronger than her relationship with anybody else. Unfortunately, Luke has handled every interaction with every other person so poorly that just five episodes in, he’s in serious jeopardy of getting kicked off the show.  When he gets the boot, it's going to be spectacular.  It's going to be a dumpster fire and I'm here for it.  Their date went so badly, Hannah decided she couldn’t bring herself to give him a rose. 

On the date, she explained that while his "all-for-Hannah strategy" might seem like the politically correct thing to do or say, she’s actually getting rather disturbed by the fact that nobody likes him. She’s looking for someone who’s friendly, someone whom “people are drawn to,” someone where “what’s inside is appealing.” In response, Luke dug deep and busted out his worst line yet: “Everyone I’ve ever met, every place, every school I’ve ever been, everyone loves me.” Hannah groaned. Luke kept going. “I hate saying it, but it’s the truth. I hate talking about myself!”

The sad thing is, Luke is probably right.  I'll bet most people (most women with a pulse and probably a lot of men) initially love him. He’s extremely handsome and athletic. Not surprisingly, people want to be friends with hot athletic people. Luke seems to have adopted a strategy of saying whatever it is he thinks the person he’s talking to wants to hear.  He's smooth.  He knows he's good looking so sure, it’s very possible that the focus groups he’s conducted on himself have come back with positive results. When Hannah says, “I want a guy who’s friends with people and hasn’t alienated everybody,” he thinks the right thing to tell her is “I’m actually extremely cool and popular everywhere I go.” It was clear Hannah was telling him that the toxic atmosphere in the house raised questions about his character. But in his mind, he heard “She wants a popular guy, sweet! I should tell her how cool I am!”

About 15 times during their interaction, Hannah tried to tell Luke that he was blowing it by talking to her in Bachelorette-speak—broad, diplomatic, meaningless tropes about how he’s “fighting for her” and how he “won’t give up on her” and stuff like that. She asked him to plainly speak to her like a person, about the things he likes, the things he dislikes, and how he’s feeling. It’s a pretty great moment of television: Hannah (who no speaks the words too good) tells Luke that she wants to have an actual connection and not an empty relationship filled with lines that sound good on reality TV.  Luke is simply incapable of doing it. He just doesn't get it.  He's a people pleaser.  It’s why he told Hannah he loved her from the get go.  It’s why every guy in the house thinks he’s a liar.  He tells the guys what they want to hear but then tells Hannah what she wants to hear.  Poor Luke isn’t even smart enough to even realize what “the right thing to say” is. What a tragedy. Hannah was taken by Luke’s extremely attractive outside, but eventually realized there was nothing inside. He's just an empty, good looking shell.  No substance. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Luke vs. Luke

I have never seen a room full of grown men get so excited about going to Rhode Island!  Don't get me wrong, Rhode Island is beautiful.  It's definitely ahead of Delaware on my "must visit before I die" list.  Just kidding.  I've actually been to both states.  Why not just take the guys to Boston?  Jed and Hannah Bananna's date was there, why not just stay in Boston??

The meat of Monday night’s episode was the Battle of the Lukes.  It was basically an hourlong showdown between Luke P and Luke S.  Raise your hand if you have to stop and think about who's who when they start throwing all these initials around???  Not so long ago, Hannah was Hannah B, not to be confused with her season’s runner-up, Hannah G.  I think it's easier to have nicknames (i.e., Mike the Man, ABC, JPJ, etc).  So for giggles, when talkin about Luke P (the recipient of the first-impression rose, the guy who talks to Jesus in the shower and is too egotistical to avoid blowing a massive lead as this season’s front-runner), I will call him Hot Luke (I also like to call him Jake Gyllenhaal Light).  When we talk about Luke S (the mild-mannered, tequila swilling, political consultant from Washington, D.C.), I will be referring to him as Tequila Luke.

The Lucas fracas began during a game of rugby.  The 15 remaining guys all seem to be athletic and let's face it, who doesn't like watching manly men getting dirty while trying to impress a woman.  The location (an abandoned fort) was beautiful. Things escalated quickly and Hot Luke started showing off and took the game to a whole 'nother level.  He took out Tequila Luke and Tequila Luke confronted him about it.  Hot Luke responded by body slamming Tequila Luke.  At that point everybody decided it was best to end the game.  And this is why we can't have nice things. 

The general consensus is that Hot Luke overstepped his bounds. Everybody was playing a physical game but body-slamming is not a part of rugby. Instead of admitting he was wrong, Hot Luke cast the blame on Tequila Luke -- Tequila Luke was sprinting toward him with clenched fists, Hot Luke protested and he was just acting in self-defense.  Everybody called BS since Hot Luke is twice Tequila Luke’s size. But Hot Luke doubled down on his defense. Not only did he continue telling the guys he believed his actions were right, he told Hannah that Tequila Luke was "there for the wrong reasons."  Hot Luke explained that he genuinely feels passion for Hannah and talks about her all the time while Tequila Luke never talks about her and spends most of his time talking up his tequila brand.

This put Tequila Luke in an awkward situation. First of all, Hot Luke was slandering him and winning. Second of all, Tequila Luke probably would like to talk about his tequila, but if he talks about his tequila now, he’ll look like he actually is on the show to self-promote.  

As the rugby matched spilled into a cocktail party, Tequila Luke confronted Hot Luke and in a dramatic 10 year old girl kind of way, he said he never wants to see Hot Luke again.  Hot Luke did the annoying thing some people do in confrontations where instead of admitting they’re wrong, they just say, “I’m sorry you feel that way, because I love you and respect you and would love to be your best friend forever,” which would be a nice sentiment if it weren’t for Hot Luke lying about Tequila Luke behind his back. The episode ended with a cliffhanger, as Hannah called both Lukes into the principal’s office to explain themselves.

I'm guessing Tequila Luke will not be with us much longer.  He doesn't have much of a personality, he doesn't really have a "connection" with Hannah and let's be honest here.  She's got the hots for Hot Luke.  Hot Luke is an ass -- he’s physically aggressive, refuses to acknowledge he was wrong and openly blasphemes another guy to win the fight. But none of that really matters, because The Bachelorette is not a morality contest. Hannah likes Hot Luke more (she actually admitted that she has stronger feelings for him than any other guy) and that is how winners of arguments are declared on this show.

Having said that, Luke’s charm is wearing thin quickly. Luke was clearly an early favorite.  All he had to do was sit back and look pretty.  But no.  He had to go all Alpha male and piss everybody off.  Especially Hannah.  She wants him to get his act together and be a good guy.  But he refuses to let any situation pass in which anybody looks better than him and doesn’t realize how petty, controlling, and insecure this makes him look.
In the wake of the eventual downfall of Hot Luke, it's time to acknowledge one of my current favorites:  Tyler C (he should actually be just plain ol' Tyler since Tyler G is already off the show).  Hannah is feeling bummed out after the Luke scenario (she's a very emotional chick) and Tyler C has the next one-on-one date. They do some lobster pot thing and have some quality time together.  Tyler seems like a good guy. I like him a lot.  Early in the season Hannah told him she likes the way he look at her and I totally agreed.  He is laser-beam focused on her, has incredible eye contact and it's very, very sexy.  He doesn't seem to be sucking up or fawning all over her. I think he's kinda low key slid into her top 5.  Tyler is described as a “general contractor” hiding the fact that he got a camp invite from the Baltimore Ravens in 2017 (The Bachelorette website claims he was “drafted” by the Ravens, which is false).  Tyler played quarterback at Wake Forest for two years and transferred to FAU where he played tight end. The more tangential your NFL career, the better your hopes are on this show (Colton Underwood: played in a few preseason games, got to be the Bachelor; Jordan Rodgers: didn’t even get in any preseason games, wins The Bachelorette; Clay Harbor: actual NFL player, eliminated in Week 3).  Tyler’s the man to beat now.

Last week was the stupid Secret Life of Pets promo tie-in, this week it was Halo Top ice cream.  Nearly every episode features luxurious shots of hotels and a contestant being like, “This is the best hotel ever!” primarily because said hotel has agreed to let ABC film in their location for free.
However, product placement starts having diminishing returns if it’s forced (like last week's stupid photo shoot). And that is exactly what happened on Jed and Hannah's date in Boston. 

The two went to Quincy Market and the bar where everybody knows your name.  After that, the two walked to Boston Common, where Hannah had a bright idea: Let’s go eat ice cream in the park!  It looked a little chilly to be eating ice cream but whatever.  I like ice cream.  I'm sure Boston has a lot of good ice cream spots. Except Hannah and Jed did not go to a local ice cream spot. As they walked into the park, they were greeted by a whimsically dressed ice cream man standing in front of a Halo Top–branded freezer. He reached into his freezer and handed them pints of Halo Top. He did not scoop the Halo Top into a cone for them, as you would expect a street ice cream salesman to do. He just gave them the damn pints, like you can pick up from your grocer's freezer.  He didn't even ask them what flavors they'd like! 
Here's where the marketing or promotional department at ABC (not the former contestant) or the folks at the Boston CVB dropped the ball.  After a beautiful March afternoon of chilly temps and ice-cream, Jed and Hannah headed to the Boston Celtics’ practice facility (at first I thought they were just at some high school gym) where two players met them (IDK.  I don't watch the NBA). They were given jerseys with their names on them. We then went straight from the worst product placement to the greatest brand avoidance ever.  They even went so far as to cover up the shoulder logos on the Celtics’ jersey.  

The date was fun. Jed seems like a nice guy.  Low key, not super sexy (I actually think his head is shaped a bit wonky but hey.  That's just me).  I thought it was pretty funny when Hannah was making up fun facts about Boston which somewhat downplayed her lack of knowledge of the Boston Tea Party. 

Jed and Hannah hit some baskets and one of the Celtic's gave Hannah some sage advice "pick somebody who’s there for the rough times and the good times … somebody who’s going to accept you for your flaws and your beauty."  Deep thoughts right there.  But let's be real here.  Let's ask the Kardashian's how many pro basketball players are in monogamous committed relationships?  And how did one just give the most philosophical advice on picking a life partner in the history of the show?  

And BTW, where the heck was JPJ this week?  JPJ doesn’t get a lot of screentime, which is tragic.  I like just saying his name and his fancy hair. 


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

What I'm Watching Wednesday

We had a relaxing, chill Memorial Day and haven't watched much TV the last couple of days.  I've been reading a lot and the only shows I've watched were The Spanish Princess Sunday evening and The Bachelorette Monday night. 
So here goes my Bachelorette recap . . .
It's group date for Jonathan, Matteo, John Paul Jones (JPJ from here on out), Kevin, Jed, Tyler C, Mike (aka Mike the Man) and ABC (not the network).  The guys meet Hannah at a combination maternity ward/movie studio in Los Angeles.  But what’s waiting for them inside is truly terrifying…it's the annoying guy from American Pie! Yup.  Asshat Jason Biggs and his wife Jenny Mollen are here to teach the dudes about pregnancy and childbirth.  They are one of those annoying, know-it-all "celebrity" couples (kind of like Dax Shepherd and the girl from Frozen.  Can't stand her.).  
They quiz the men on basic pregnancy facts (that was kinda scary to watch.  Clearly our sex education curriculum has failed most of these guys.  The only thing Tyler C knows about pregnancy is that the woman’s belly gets bigger and she eats a lot. Jed is able to correctly identify a basic reproductive-health fact and Hannah screams that he "knows his way around a woman."  Meanwhile, Cam thinks the gestational period is two weeks.).  Then the guys wear “empathy bellies” and care for baby dolls that cry at random, like real babies.  KJ did this back in high school. 
To mimic the agony of breastfeeding, Hannah clamps clothespins on the guys’ nipples (which, I'm guessing, is a regular Saturday night in some American households).  The real treat of this date is when Nurse Ratchet hooks the boys up to a labor simulation gizmo. The guys all look like they’re somewhere between intense orgasm and throwing up all of their guts. JPJ is tensing up his entire body before they even turn the machine on. He screams like a little girl and practically falls off the table.  He's adorable.  Tyler C tries to look all male-model sexy during his turn (“I’m pretty sure he thought it was a photo shoot,” jokes Hannah) but once the electricity started flowing he lost any street cred he thought he had pretty quick. 

During the cocktail party of the evening, we learned Hannah wants to move to Nashville.  She's never even visited Nashville but wants to live there.  Which is really hard to believe considering she's from Tuscaloosa.  It's not that far of a drive.  Nashville also happens to be where contestant Jed lives.  There was also a lot of chicken nuggets. 

Time to get serious, though. The pregnancy-themed date brought up a lot of sad memories and guilt for Mike. As he explains to Hannah, he and his ex-girlfriend got pregnant, but then they lost the baby in the second trimester. “It was my fault because I wasn’t there for her at the time,” Mike says sadly. “It’s just one thing I can be a better man at.” It’s an intense and moving moment… so naturally, producers send Cam in to interrupt it! “Whenever you guys are wrapped up,” he mumbles, “I’ll just be outside.”  Every time Hannah or Mike manages to push Cam out of the room, he waits ten seconds and walks back in because he’s got something really important to tell her.  Read the room, dude.
Instead, though, Cam lingers right out of frame, making everyone uncomfortable, until Mike politely asks him to GTFO. He and Hannah Bannanas share a tender smooch, and just as Hannah’s about to share something important with Mike, in walks Cam again! “I have something really important I need to tell her,” he explains weakly. “I haven’t had any time.” Mike does not back down (“You’re gonna get your time… I’ll come get you”), and then gives Hannah one last kiss as Cam watches.
Of course, Mike gives the guys a full report about Cam’s actions. “I just got interrupted on three different occasions,” he tells them. “And twice, Hannah as well said you need to leave the room.” And thus, this week’s Cam-Mike rivalry (more on that later) is born.

Suddenly, Jonathan arrives like an avenging angel of karma, and he all but physically removes Cam from the couch. “What goes around comes around,” says Jonathan, who steps between Cam and Hannah as the former tries to walk the Bachelorette to the door. Rather than asking Jonathan to back off, Hannah sends Cam off with half-ass, one arm hug.
“There’s a difference between being bold and being charismatic and romantic, versus being a little physical overpowering insecure chihuahua,” ABC (not the network) complains to JPJ. Once Jonathan is back on the couch with the rest of the guys, Cam attempts to goad Jonathan into an intense staring contest.  But here’s some good news: Mike gets the date rose!  He's the only person on this date with even the slightest bit of charm, so it's all good.

The next day, baby-faced Connor S (I think he's KJ's fav at this point) is supposed to have a one-on-one sailing date with Hannah.  Unfortunately, earlier that morning our Bachelorette passed out and spent some time in the hospital. Honest to God, I think she was drunk from the night before and had a wicked hangover and needed an IV drip to get her through the day.  When Connor gets the news that he’s going to go to her hotel room instead to help her convalesce, all the guys hoot and holler like hanging out with someone in their hotel room after being hospitalized is sexxxxxy.  Connor picks up a card, some chicken soup, and flowers which was sweet.  He goes to Hannah’s hotel room where she tells him that she fainted (passed out??) and had to get fluids. Then they make out.  Because I've always felt up to making-out after all of my hospital stays.  Though she was discharged, our brave, strong girl is still “not feeling 100 percent,” as she explains to Connor.  Last week, our Bachelorette was so exhausted and overwhelmed that she started crying actual tears at the second cocktail party. And now in week three, she wound up in the hospital after passing out!  At this rate, poor Hannah will be in a medically induced coma by hometowns. If anyone would like to start a prayer chain to keep our fragile Bachelorette standing until the finale, hit me up in the comments.  Connor tells her a story about his mom’s health scares, and he writes little notes all over Hannah’s hotel room letting her know all the amazing things about her. It was cute.

The date isn’t over yet. After Hannah's nap, he heads back to the mansion, but a limo driver tells him he’s got 15 minutes to “look sharp, my man!” They head to an awkward private concert with someone (IDK).  Connor gets the rose.  
Meanwhile, back at the house, Luke is antsy and anxious because he’s the one who’s supposed to be comforting Hannah at her time of need.  And the weirdo even asks what she was wearing in the hospital.  “It’s my job to care of her right now,” he insists. “I know she wants me over there.” He  tells the guys that if he were the one visiting Hannah and she told him to leave, he would refuse. “I’d say, ‘It’s all right, I’ll just curl up next to you in bed.’… I wouldn’t leave.” So according to Luke, leave means stay, no means yes.

It's revealed that Tyler G (Superman lookalike) "had to leave” without any explanation.  Odd.  We don’t see him saying goodbye to the guys or having a sad farewell chat with Hannah.  Did the producers want him out of the mansion ASAP?  Family emergency?  Wonder if we'll ever know.  It’s also unclear how much producers told the Bachelorette about the situation, but she says his departure is “upsetting because I really enjoyed my date with him.”
Dylan, Peter, Garrett, Grant, Luke P, Luke S, Joey, and Devin pile into the party bus for uncomfortable group date number two . . .  a weird photo shoot where each guy will be paired up with a “top model.” The models are beasts . . . dogs, a llama, a pig, a rat, a miniature horse and a snake.  Cue the annoying product placement (this time it's the movie The Secret Life of Pets 2).  The cheesy infomercial/commercial doesn’t end with the animals.  Hannah Bannanas has teamed up again with Demi to do some recon.  “The Secret Life of Pets 2 is about what pets do in their secret lives whenever their owners aren’t around,” explains Demi. “So today we’re going to see what Hannah’s guys do… whenever she’s not around.”  I like Demi but I was really hoping Miss J and Co. would be back this week. 
Demi should work for the goddamn CIA, Secret Service, Interpol, etc.  She's seated in front of a bunch of surveillance camera feeds and watches the guys from a hidden room. Her goal is to see how the men interact with the makeup artist and an animal trainer (two hot actresses the show hired to flirt with contestants).  None of the guys seem to take the bait. 

Eventually, the guys do get to take some pics with Hannah and Luke P can’t handle it. He barges into her shoot with Joey and then tries to follow the Bachelorette to her changing room, but she brushes him off with a nervous laugh. “I need him to slow his roll,” she tells us. “He is not guaranteed this. I have a lot of other relationships that are really great, too.”

It’s time for the old “there won’t be a cocktail party tonight” fake-out. Instead, Hannah has decided to throw a tailgate party for the week’s final shindig. Get psyched, guys! Sun’s out, buns out.
Chris Harrison comes over to tell them that instead of a cocktail party they’re going to do a tailgate party, and the guys are excited because FOOTBALL! and SPORTS! Cam decides to make an actor’s announcement and tell everyone that he would like to talk to Hannah first to tell her another important thing about his life. He wants the guys to know that he has something “very, very personal and very serious” that he was planning to tell Hannah at the cocktail party. “This is something that has been a downfall in my past two serious relationships,” he continues, and he’s hoping the guys will let him be the first one to talk to the Bachelorette when the tailgate party starts. “There’s a strong likelihood that it may be too much for her to handle,” Cam adds, “and she sends me home before the rose ceremony.”

Mike says “bullshit. There’s no rules of engagement.”  How can Cam expect the guys to respect his time, says Other Luke, when he’s been so disrespectful of their time with Hannah? As for the Bachelorette, she just wants a “chill day.” But just as Hannah’s telling us she doesn’t want to hear about “anything tragic,” Cam drags her to the pool so he can fill her in on his Very Important Backstory:  his leg was almost amputated, his grandma died and he had to give away his puppy. All in the same week.  Any and all of those are difficult things to experience, but stacking them in one story that you demand someone listen to is a lot for one person to take in.  At a tailgate party.  Mike takes Hannah aside and lets her know that Cam thought he was going home and demanded he get to talk to her so any story he told her is probably in search of a pity rose. Hannah is furious and puts it together that Cam just wants to stay and Mike never has to say anything of the sort. She confronts Cam and the rest of the guys to let them know there are no pity roses.

I was a little disappointed with Mike at this point of the evening.  I felt like he was stirring the pot a bit.  I get it.  He was annoyed with Cam’s latest theatrics, but the way he describes it to Hannah — “He sat us all down and told us that he was going to tell you a sad story to kind of get a pity rose” — was off base.  Either way, Hannah seems all too ready to believe the worst about Cam, and you can’t really blame her. “I’m really disappointed,” she says. “I don’t give pity roses.” She fetches Cam from the tailgate party and informs him that she finds the timing of his sob story quite suspect. Did he bring it up “in, like, a ditch effort to stay”? (Another of example of "Hannah no speak words too good."  I'm sure she meant “last-ditch effort.") 

Cam vehemently denies that he was seeking a “pity rose,” but when Hannah asks him if he was writing goodbye letters to the guys earlier that morning he mans up and does not deny it. “I was writing letters because I didn’t know how you would respond to [my story],” he explains. Hannah tells him his actions feel “really calculated” and that she needs to think about whether she can trust him again.
At the cocktail party, Hannah is wearing some bold fashion choices (an outfit from the Taylor Swift Romper Collection, a drapey looking necklace and some really dark lip color) and she’s decided  she’s not going to tolerate Luke P’s behavior no matter how ripped his quads are. Hannah pulls Luke P aside first to give him a little talking-to. “It’s annoying when Luke P. tries to flaunt our connection in front of the guys,” she says. Luke P tells Hannah that he regrets “letting other guys develop a stronger connection with you… I really don’t think these guys have what it takes to be your future husband.” Wait.  What?  You're "letting" the guys develop connections with Hannah? I don't think so Luke P.

“I’ve been struggling a little bit because I just feel like you already think it’s like promised to you and that bothers me a lot,” the Bachelorette explains. “I feel like your confidence in this kind of makes me irritated, in a way.” When Luke tries to cut her off, she shuts him down. “Hold on, let me talk.”  Hannah goes on to school Luke P on the difference between confidence and cockiness, and she scolds him for his pushy behavior: “I want it to change.” I don't think Luke P gets the message because he goes on to say, “I don’t feel like I’ve been acting that way.  I don’t see her seeing me like that. It doesn’t make sense to me.”  In other words, Luke P disagrees with Hannah’s feelings — therefore her feelings, in his mind, are invalid. And so after his confessional, he marches off to find Hannah and explain to her why everything she thinks is wrong. But the Bachelorette is in the middle of chatting with Devin, and she isn’t about to let Luke P interrupt her. “I will talk to you later, okay?” she says, sending him away. Much like herpes, though, Luke P comes back time and again. He tries to cut into Hannah’s chat with Dylan but gets denied, and then he lurks in the hallway next to the room where Hannah is chatting with Garrett so he can intercept her when she leaves. It does not go over well.
“I don’t want to do this right now,” she whispers angrily. “I want to call my own shots.” Because.  You know.  She's a strong, modern-day Bachelorette.  Which is clearly the theme for this season.  Luke P says, “Honestly, I can’t stand this process,” after joining everyone back on the couch and throws out a “I even had thoughts about leaving here tonight.” If Luke P had decided to leave at that point, Hannah probably wouldn’t have noticed since she’s too busy making out with Pete the Pilot.
When it’s time to hand out the date rose, Hannah suddenly seems to remember that she promised to talk to Luke P one last time. She takes him outside, the rose in her hand — leaving the rest of the guys to worry that the God-fearing stage-5 clinger is going to be rewarded for his behavior. But that does not happen.  Ouch. With Luke P properly chastened, Hannah gives the date rose to Pilot Pete. 

Jed, Tyler, Dustin, Dylan, Grant, Luke P, Garrett, John Paul Jones, Matteo, Devin, Luke S., and Kevin join Connor and Mike in the winners’ circle. Bye-bye, Cam! We also must bid farewell to Joey and Jonathan, in case you were wondering.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Early Observances of Memorial Day
The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.

By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
 Waterloo—which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

Decoration Day
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.

History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Memorial Day Traditions
Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with a World War I poem. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because it unofficially marks the beginning of summer.
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